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Species Guide

Cape Long-billed Lark

Certhilauda curvirostris

The Cape long-billed lark, or Certhilauda curvirostris, is a bird of modest yet distinctive appearance, belonging to the Alaudidae family. It is also referred to by various names such as the Cape lark, Cape longbill, or simply the long-billed lark.

Identification Tips

This species is characterized by its notably elongated bill, which curves downwards, a feature that is particularly useful in distinguishing it from other larks. Its plumage is generally subdued, blending seamlessly with the semi-arid landscapes it inhabits.


The Cape long-billed lark is well-adapted to a range of habitats, including the semi-arid Karoo shrubland, subtropical dry shrubland, and both lowland and highveld grasslands. It also makes its home in agricultural areas, farmlands, and the unique coastal fynbos.


This lark graces the landscapes of south-western Africa, with its presence recorded from south-western Namibia to western South Africa.


There are two recognized subspecies of the Cape long-billed lark:

  • C. c. falcirostris, found from south-western Namibia to western South Africa.
  • C. c. curvirostris, native to south-western South Africa.

Similar Species

Several other species have been considered as subspecies of the Cape long-billed lark in the past, including the Karoo long-billed lark, Benguela long-billed lark, Eastern long-billed lark, and Agulhas long-billed lark. However, current taxonomic consensus often recognizes these as distinct species.

Conservation status

The Cape long-billed lark is currently classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, indicating that, at present, there are no immediate threats to its population numbers that would warrant a more urgent conservation status.

Cape Long-billed Lark Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Cape Long-billed Larks on Birda


More Larks

A photo of a Greater Hoopoe-Lark (Alaemon alaudipes)

Greater Hoopoe-Lark

Alaemon alaudipes
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